Preliminary hearing in Will Smith murder case set for April 28

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A preliminary hearing has been set in the second-degree murder case against Cardell Hayes, who is accused of shooting and killing former Saints defensive end Will Smith in New Orleans last Saturday night.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Orleans Parish Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell has set an April 28 date for the hearing, which will determine if the prosecution has probable cause to keep Hayes, whose bond has been set at $1 million, in custody on the murder charge.

Hayes is also expected to face further charges related to shooting Smith’s wife Racquel, who had to be hospitalized for two gunshot wounds to her leg. Hayes is accused of shooting Smith after an argument that followed Hayes’ Hummer hitting Smith’s Mercedes from behind. Surveillance video from just before the shooting shows that Smith’s car appear to make contact with Hayes’ vehicle before driving away.

Prosecutors will present evidence and testimony to support their case at the hearing and Hayes’ lawyers will have a right to cross-examine.

 

20 responses to “Preliminary hearing in Will Smith murder case set for April 28

  1. This is the first I am hearing of this, having been traveling recently, but WOW!

    Are you kidding me? No one’s life deserves to be taken over a minor car accident.

    This is some serious road rage.

    My heart goes out to everyone affected by this.

  2. Regardelss if Smith tapped the Hummer and drove away, that is no excuse for gunning down a man and shooting his wife as well.
    This guy is a coward or as we use to say “Big for nothin”.

  3. Hayes was allegedly hit from behind by Will Smith and, since it was a minor tap, Smith drove around him like it was nothing. Hayes, probably feeling disrespected, then hit Smith’s vehicle from behind, got out, exchanged words and shot Smith multiple times in his back and torso as well as Smith’s wife twice in the leg. Doesn’t sound like self defense to me… Classic case of taking the law into his own hands….

  4. The national sports media is glaring over a lot of details that the local media has been reporting. For example, there is an independent witness that claims to have heard Smith and Hayes arguing and one shouted that he had a gun and another said he did too. Speculation is that Smith shouted he had a gun and may have been perceived by Hayes to be turning as to get it out of his vehicle. Smith was reportedly found with his feet on the ground, slumped over the steering wheel column. That looks as if he was going to get something from his vehicle. I am not saying this is self-defense as Smith was still shot in the back, but this case isn’t as slam dunk as most of the national sports media is making it seem.

  5. Everybody may be surprised by the outcome, it may not be the slam dunk case it seems to be…

    Hayes waited for the police and secured an eye witness, definitely not the actions of a guy who thinks he is guilty of a road rage murder…. so either he is phenomenally stupid (which he very well may be) or it’s a legit self defense. 95% chance of stupidity.

    By the way, Louisiana has been a “stand your ground” state since 2006

  6. I am not sure if the “stand your ground” defense is applicable here, given that Smith was shot in the back. That law allows for force to be met with force. I’m not sure what force was being met to a man with his back turned.

    Also, that defense can’t be used by the aggressor. Seeing as Hayes followed Smith, caused the second accident and apparently already had his gun in hand, it may be difficult to say that he wasn’t the aggressor in this incident.

  7. swsander783 says:
    Apr 12, 2016 2:30 PM

    The national sports media is glaring over a lot of details that the local media has been reporting. For example, there is an independent witness that claims to have heard Smith and Hayes arguing and one shouted that he had a gun and another said he did too. Speculation is that Smith shouted he had a gun and may have been perceived by Hayes to be turning as to get it out of his vehicle. Smith was reportedly found with his feet on the ground, slumped over the steering wheel column. That looks as if he was going to get something from his vehicle. I am not saying this is self-defense as Smith was still shot in the back, but this case isn’t as slam dunk as most of the national sports media is making it seem.

    -You may have a point, but when do the police tell you to take the law into your own hands? I believe they tell you quite the opposite because you could go and do something even more stupid and now your crime is far more worse than the original crime.

  8. There is video on CNN showing Will Smith apparently rear ending his murderer and driving off minutes before the final encounter.

    If that’s the case then Smith was an idiot for not stopping and defusing the situation by trading insurance info. The other guy certainly should not have chased him like that and retaliated by rear ending Smith, that goes without saying, but Smith may well have partially brought this on himself.

  9. @harrisonhits2

    I think that’s the worst part in all this. Sure, Will Smith didn’t deserve to be shot, let alone killed. But he handled the situation in the worst possible way and sadly that played a part in all this.

  10. But he handled the situation in the worst possible way and sadly that played a part in all this.
    ===============================
    Being disrespected isn’t ever a reason to kill someone…. But it happens everyday in American cities… Smith didn’t bring anything upon himself, his perpetrator is an insecure loser with a massive ego he must defend to the end SMDH

  11. He definitely didn’t bring it upon himself. But, when the news first broke, I think most Saints fans (myself included) wanted to believe that he did absolutely nothing wrong. The details that have come to light show that he may not have handled the situation in the best manner. Again, I am not all saying he deserved to be shot and killed, far from it. But his actions did play a part in the events that night.

  12. Ok so let me get this straight. Smith hits Hayes and drives off. So Hayes gets mad and decides to run down Smith and hit him back. Both get out and words are exchanged and Hayes shoots Smith and his wife. What’s the justification for shooting both of them? Being upset that Smith him? I don’t think so. Self defense? It appears that Hayes had the gun on him when he exited his vehicle so unless he knew for sure that Smith either had a gun also or he thought Smith was going to attack him physically then that won’t work either. So what’s left?

  13. Florio had a previous article that the video showing Smith allegedly doing a hit and run on Hayes’ vehicle could lead to first degree murder due to possible premeditation was flat wrong. Louisiana’s first degree murder laws has nothing to do with premeditation. Second degree murder is intent to kill or cause great bodily harm, which is what Hayes was arrested for. Hayes was not justified in killing Smith. As I previously posted, I don’t think a “stand your ground” defense is at play and I’m not sure what success Hayes will have saying he shot multiple times in self-defense when Smith was not even facing him. I think with the new video and some of the statements made by witnesses that Smith said he had a gun, manslaughter will likely be what the DA charges him with.

  14. If Smith had got his gun out, he would have been justified in blowing Hayes away after Hayes purposely and violently shoved Smith’s auto into the car in front of him.

  15. 40 years ago, this would have ended in a pretty good fist fight. Today, after all of the social, political and economic advancements… Look at where we are at. We got a African American President, we own major sports teams, we run cable TV stations.. and we also have this! As a African American, I STILL have a dream. I dream that the Black Lives Matter refocus on this senseless BS. Start calling out people. Gotta look in the mirror with this.

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